Saturday, 28 March 2015

Air France Premium Economy - a bit of flight review

PS: Hope you don't mind today's post being a bit different than my usual beauty related post xD

As much as I love airports and the adrenaline I get every time I get to fly, I really hate to sit in a long haul flight in economy class. Sadly as a student, my budget has never allowed me to book a seat in any business class, so every time I flew home from my current residence now at Berlin Germany to Jakarta Indonesia, I had to sit in economy class with 2 strangers beside me , packed in a narrow and uncomfortable seats.
But everything has changed once I found out that Air France offers Premium Economy class with more affordable price compare to the business one but with almost as good benefits. Why I decided to write a review about it is because when I was browsing about the PE class, there were not enough reviews available on the internet. Most reviews I could find were either very outdated or for short haul flight. So I guess this review might help some people who are still in doubt whether it is worth the extra money to upgrade to premium economy.

Let's start with the benefits you get :
  • 2 x 23kg baggage which is a big selling point for me , compare to regular 1 x 23kg baggage for economy class.
  • Priority check in, boarding and baggage together with the Sky priority and business class passengers , means that you don' have to stand in long queue most of the time.
  • More comfort seats and more leg room ( I'll talk more about it later ).
  • You get different meals , something in between economy and business. 

The check in process went smoothly and fast as I was able to use the business / sky priority check in desk. That was already a good start , followed by fast boarding ( I was also able to sit in the priority seats while waiting for boarding )  means I was able to enter the plane when it was still relatively empty which also made a big different ( the overhead compartment was still empty so I was able to put my cabin luggage with no fuss ).  The PE class is located between business and economy ( the cabin crew closed the curtains during the flight , so the PE part was separated with business and ecnomy ) and it was quiet a small section with 2-4-2 seat arrangement and total 36 or 38 seats in one class that makes the cabin less packed and more calm.
The seat itself looks more like business class ( even better than some business class in short haul flights ). It is of course not as comfortable as fully reclined and comfy business seats but it is in my opinion way better than the economy seats. 
One thing I've read that people complain the most about, is the fact that the seats do not reclined and instead, they slide. But as I am only 1,58m short, I don't really mind as it is still more comfortable than the economy class. The fixed shell seats are a plus point if you have ever encountered ignorant neighbor in front of you who recline their economy seat to maximum and do not even think that people who sit behind them might need to eat or watch the in flight entertainment. With my 1,58m height, I also got more than enough leg room. The seat is not that comfortable that I was able to sleep much during the flight, but once again it was still way better than the economy. The arm rest was also pretty roomy so I didn't have to experience any awkward elbow touch with my next to neighbor.  The seat also comes with noise cancelling head phone which is amazing! 

Speaking about the food, they were quiet tasty and once we had braised scallop which was one of the best cooked scallop I've ever eaten. After the meal, we were given a plastic coronette filled with sweets ( chocolate, caramel fudge, and candies ) . They also gave us a amenities pouch filled with socks, ohrpax, tootbrush and toothpaste. The pouch is quite nice though.

One example of the meal I had during my flight from Berlin to Paris

Overall, I was very pleased with my experience with Air France Premium Economy, and as I have flown with Air France sister company KLM before, my miles added up and I'll be able to upgrade from PE to business class on my next trip home yuhuuu. 
If you have problem flying alone in a long haul flight or have bad sick motion like I do, PE is a very good and cheaper alternative to the business class as you get way more comfort and trust me, in a 17 hour flight, a little more comfort is what we all need.

You can find another reviews here and here.
Oh btw I was flying this route : Berlin-Paris-Jakarta ( with one technical stop at Singapore ).


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